Guillaume Legros, known as Saype (Instagram), is a self-taught artist with big goals and big projects. His latest and biggest project is called Beyond Walls and symbolizes unity.
In a polarized world, where there’s more focus on each other’s differences than similarities, Saype is creating the largest human chain ever created. In 2024, he aims to have visited more than 30 cities around the world across all continents, “to invite people to help each other, to be benevolent and to live together”.
The artworks from this project are massive intertwined hands, painted on grass.
Currently, Guillaume has painted the huge hands in seven cities across the world. He started in Paris at the foot of the famous Eiffel Tower. In one year, Andorra, Geneva, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro and Turin followed.
In Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, he painted his biggest surface yet: 18,000m2. It’s painted around one of the biggest religious buildings worldwide, the Notre-Dame de la Paix Basilica.
It took the artist a year to develop biodegradable paint, which is sustainable and wouldn’t hurt the environment. The paint disappears after between 2 weeks and two months, depending on the weather and the growth of the grass.
Since he was fourteen, Saype has been making public art. It started with graffiti, and it evolved to making the biggest paintings in history. His artworks have been seen all around the world, by hundreds of millions of people. He became one of the most publicized artists of 2019 and earned a spot in the Forbes thirty most influential people under the age of thirty, in the field of Art and Culture.
New York, USA
Some people are just born inspirers. Bond Hill, a 5-year old boy from Brooklyn is that kind of person.
Bond Hill raised over $29,000 during his live 20-minute meditation. The money goes towards the Coalition for the Homeless, a charity that provides Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in New York.
“I just didn’t want the kids to be sad on Christmas,” Bond told The New York Post. “It’s not fair that some kids get toys and other kids don’t.”
Bond meditates every day and he’s been doing so since he was just 18 months old, according to his mother. His meditations are usually around 5 minutes, while in this meditation ‘marathon’ he meditated for 24 minutes as a tribute to LA Lakers’ #24, Kobe Bryant.
Bond was a big fan of Kobe. Not only because “he was really good”, as Bond told The NY Post, “He meditated too.”
His initial target was $2,000. But thanks to help from his parents and his GoFundMe campaign spreading on the internet like wildfire, he has now raised $29,510! With help of Bond’s selfless actions, the Coalition for the Homeless was able to gift toys to the 19,000 children living in New York City shelters.
Bond and his parents plan to make mediating for charity an annual Christmas tradition.
“Hopefully this will extend into the classrooms and into more people’s homes,” Sapphira told The NY Post. “So that at the end of the day, we can instil [the importance of meditation and giving back] into this generation. Then, our future looks a little bit brighter.”
West Fork, Arkansas, United States
Facebook – Kare 11
9th grader Paul Scott is blind, but that doesn’t stop him from running cross country. With help of fourth grader Rebel Hays, who navigates Paul through the courses with a rope, Paul is able to participate in cross country races.
Rebel is just 11 years old and is a born runner, and helper. With Paul, he runs for West Fork High School in West Fork, Arkansas. Because he’s competing with much older kids, Rebel says he trains every day. “If I don’t run this distance, it’s like I’m cheating on Paul. I can’t cheat on Paul so, I have to run this distance, or this time no matter what,” says Hays.
The power duo started with two-mile races, but now they’re doing 5K (3.1 miles). Rebel’s individual record for the 5K is below 20 minutes, and his goal is to run the 5K together with Paul below 20 minutes as well. “I have to do it for Paul,” he says.
Rebel eventually wants to participate in the Olympics and we’re positive he’ll get there one day.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Robert Carter, a 29 year old man from Cincinnati, Ohio, adopted an entire family of five siblings between age four and ten, because he didn’t want them to be separated.
Carter adopted Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni, and Kiontae. In December 2019, Carter started fostering the three boys – Robert, Giovanni and Kiontae – but soon discovered they had two sisters who they had been separated from for six months.
Robert Carter spent years in foster care himself, where he couldn’t have contact with his younger sister and brother. So, when he was asked why he chose to take such a big leap of faith, he explained that he personally experienced what it’s like to be separated from his biological family.
“The kids saw each other and started hugging and crying and wouldn’t let go,” Carter said. “That was the moment I said ‘okay I’m going to take all five.’”
Right now, Carter is working on gaining their trust and at the same time working hard to be able to buy a bigger home. A GoFundMe was started to raise money to help pay the house, with a $150,000 goal. Thanks to the power of the internet, that target is already exceeded and the counter is currently on $260,000.
Paritewadi, Maharashtra, India
Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale won the Global Teacher Prize 2020. An award that’s given annually, to a teacher that made an outstanding contribution to their profession.
Ranjitsinh Disale teaches at Zilla Parishad Primary School, in the village of Paritewadi in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. He changed lives, especially for young girls in the region, by giving them more opportunities.
When Disale arrived at the primary school in 2009, school attendance could be as low as 2% for girls and teenage marriage was a common practice in the communities. The quality of the education was low, since the curriculum language was not in their mother language, making it impossible for some students to understand.
Ranjitsinh went to great lengths to change this, and started to learn the local language. He then translated the class textbooks into the student’s primary language (Kannada), and created unique QR codes to provide the children with video lectures, assignments and other recourses. Disale asked for feedback from the students and would change the content, activities and assignments in the QR coded textbooks, so every student would get a personalized learning experience.
Ranjitsinh has made a significant difference in the village: school attendance for girls is now at 100 percent and there are no child marriages anymore. The school was also awarded as best school in the district, as 85 percent of students achieved A grades in exams.
When Ranjitsinh won, he decided to donate 50% of the prize money among the other ten finalists. He said, with sparkles in his eyes:
“Teachers are the real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing.
And therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share 50% of the prize money equally among my fellow Top 10 finalists to support their incredible work. I believe, together, we can change this world because sharing is growing” (Als mooie quote layout!!)
With the rest of the money, Disale wants to launch a Peace Army for students who have been affected by war, all over the world. His goal is to recruit at least 5,000 people every year.
Some teachers really deserve the world.